Singapore to Streamline Regulatory Fees for Businesses
SINGAPORE – In a recent announcement, Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) stated that it intends to change its regulatory structure in order to streamline the process for businesses. Under the new system, fees from most ad hoc transactions will be removed.
Specifically, under the new system, over 100 ad hoc transactions will be made free of charge – these were previously chargeable under the old pay-per-use model. However, as a result of recent legislative changes (these include the Companies (Amendment) Bill, the Business Names Registration Bill, and the ACRA (Amendment) Bill), six new fees will come into effect which lay out the regulations for corporate service providers and allow for new corporate registry services to be introduced.
The new streamlined fee structure and the six new fees are scheduled to be implemented before the end of the first quarter of 2015.
Important fees that businesses should be aware of include the following:
- SGD10 (US$7.86) to SGD40 per year increase in annual fees for certain businesses
- SGD50 to SGD100 increase in the fee for the initial registration of a business for sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited partnerships
- SGD300 flat rate for the initial registration of a company (previously this was SGD300 to SGD1,200)
- SGD50 decline (SGD150 to SGD100) for the initial registration of a limited liability partnership
- SGD30 and SGD170 increase in the fees for ad hoc applications for waivers, exemptions, or extension of time to comply with statutory requirements (ex. filing of accounts and holding the annual general meeting)
Some of the increases in fees can be explained by the Singapore government’s efforts to cover the costs of maintaining an accurate, comprehensive, and easily accessible register of business entities. In recent months, Singapore has made several steps to further improve the ease of doing business in the city-state; these include clarifying transfer pricing documentation and releasing an e-Tax Guide to help foreign institutions comply with FATCA.
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